Friday, January 27, 2012

Math Tool

Math has always been one of my least favorite subjects...except for maybe geometry, since quilting is all about geometry...yes! geometry is math and I love it...but "other" math-not so much.  But, with three children already under my belt, I felt that I could easily skip out on "formal" math for K since I kinda know what to expect.  So, here is a peek at one of my new found tools :)

These small magnets are pretty strong and there are 50 or so in a pack. (Yes, they are a choking hazard!!)  I used them with an old baking pan to do various activities on the preschool level.  Sorting, colors, etc.  Now we do counting, using them to make numbers, patterns, etc...the possibilities are endless. AND!  They stay on the fridge so they don't need their own space in the learning room:) That's one of the best parts of all!

Here are some things that come to mind right off:
*Create letter shapes, eventually spell short words with them
*Use them for addition/subtraction problems (ex.:  two green plus two yellow and let them count it up).
*Create shapes
*Sort colors
*Fraction usage (using contrasting colors at first then moving toward all one color would be helpful in determining fractions)
*They could also make their own "star chart" if you use that type of thing for reward/motivational purposes.
*Create number shapes, counting exercises

There are endless possibilities with these little doo-dads! They are one of my favorite inexpensive teaching tools.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writing Tool

My favorite and most reliable tool for teaching reading in our homeschool is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I have used it with all four of my children.  While each child learns differently, this system has worked for all even if I needed to adapt it somewhat.  The writing sheets that are assigned with each lesson can be printed off from the Donna Young website but my five year-old is easing into the handwriting portion.  So, as an additional lesson,  I began using the Aqua Doodle mat for writing.  Really, the idea just struck me on a whim but has been an excellent tool.  The pens that come with this are wider than the old fashioned fat pencils that we used to use in lower elementary school, so it is easier for little hands to hold and control. The mat is easily drug around from place to place; or in this case, it is taken from sibling to sibling to read and write together.  The obvious is also a huge benefit: no chalk dust, no needing erasers and no unwanted marking on furniture, carpet, etc.    The Aqua Doodle is also very convenient and could be taken along to appointments and such to keep little ones busy.  You could also use it as a narration tool for little ones just learning to narrate so that they can draw a picture of the narration.  I am sure there are many other uses for the Aqua Doodle, including math and counting exercises as well.  It is a wonderful, inexpensive tool to add to your collection of manipulatives for learning.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kids Got My Camera! : New House

Welcome to another installment of Kids Got My Camera!  This is where I go to download pictures from my camera for whatever reason, and discover that my kids got my camera.  They have quite the fascination with taking goofy pictures of themselves.  It could also involve their feet and toes.  I have no idea why that is soo hilarious to them??  Anyway, it is what it is!!!!  So these are the special gifts that they left for me this time. 
You might find some funny ones here and here as well :)
For the first time in our new house: